Teams are picking up the fifth-year options of several first-round choices from the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft. However, the Kansas City Chiefs won’t be joining them because they have their sights set on the Tuesday, May 2 deadline.
Rookie contracts and team control for first-round choices can be extended for an extra fully-guaranteed season via the fifth-year option. These choices take into account the player’s initial three-year performance in terms of things like Pro Bowl appearances and snap counts. Stars like Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, and Justin Jefferson, for instance, will receive substantial pay increases in their fifth year on the job as a result of their achievements in previous years.
Edwards-Helaire has a cap cost of $3.44 million for the next season, and the Chiefs could have increased his salary by $5.46 million, or 58%, in 2024 by picking up his fifth-year option. It also would have put him in the upper 20 percentile of NFL running backs in terms of average annual value paid. Kansas City waited until after the 2023 NFL Draft to make a definitive decision here, as promised by general manager Brett Veach a few weeks ago.
Edwards-Helaire hasn’t lived up to the 32nd overall pick he received from the Chiefs back in 2020. The former LSU Tigers star has played in just 33 regular season games, but he has already rushed 371 times for 1,622 yards (averaging 4.4 yards per carry) and 11 touchdowns. In addition, he has scored six times and caught 72 passes as a backfield receiver. Edwards-Helaire’s career with Kansas City has been marred by injuries, which have limited his playing time and perhaps eroded some of his agility.